NHL Canadian Corner – February 3, 2014

Jets ground the Canadiens, updates on Phil Kessel and Sean Monahan plus the latest on the Senators, Canucks and Oilers.

Michael Frolik celebrates his goal against the Canadiens.

Michael Frolik celebrates his goal against the Canadiens.

WINNIPEG SUN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Michael Frolik’s goal early in the third snapped a 1-1 tie and lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Habs coach Michel Therrien was furious over the officiating late in the game when the Jets appeared to get away with three infractions against Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-earned victory for the Jets, who’ve climbed to within four points of a wild card berth. As for the Habs, they’ve struggled to scored in their last two games, both of which were losses.

TORONTO SUN: Phil Kessel is on pace to become the first Leaf to score 40 goals in a season since Mats Sundin in 2001-02.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel’s reached the 30-goal plateau for the fifth time in six seasons and leads the Leafs in scoring for the fifth straight season. Only a handful of players have better offensive stats over that period than Kessel. Yet some Leafs fans still believe he’s over-rated and overpaid. Something else Kessel shares with Sundin is a lack of true appreciation from some Leafs fans, probably because – like Sundin – he’s not a “good Canadian boy”. Bottom line is Kessel is the Leafs’ best player and continues to improve with each passing season. Without him, the Leafs are screwed. Like it or not, he’s your franchise player. I’d love to have this guy playing for my team. Like Sundin, you’ll miss him when he’s gone.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators must move past their loss on Saturday to the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Who wants to see “The Battle of Ontario” in this year’s playoffs? I know I do!

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks shouldn’t expect a happy John Tortorella when his returns from his 15-day suspension. The club’s gone into a tailspin since their coach was suspended two weeks ago.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames rookie Sean Monahan is still adjusting to life as a local celebrity.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Monahan blossoms into the star he’s projected to be, and he’s shown positive signs so far this season, he’ll become well-known around the NHL.

EDMONTON SUN: Former Oilers forward Linus Omark will skate against his old team tonight when the Buffalo Sabres meet the Oilers in Edmonton.


  1. Another battle of Ontario would be a perfect first round match up.

  2. Is it just me or does Gallagher get abused by the other team and the refs? Can you imagine how fast Bettman would be wetting his pants if Crosby or Kessel or especially a bruin was being treated that poorly?

    • He deserves worse…….he’s a piece of trash like Marchand! I hope someone runs that bird from behind and cripples him!

      • to Josh. That is a rotten thing to say…I would never wish a major injury to anyone even a piece of s**t like you.

        • lol

      • I disagree…Gallagher deserves much better. He goes into the dirty areas and agitates other players…that is his job. If he draws a penalty he has done his job. If he draws about five penalties and none are called, then the ref is not doing his job.

    • He is always in the crease causing issues bumping goalies trash talking, if he wants to play that game there is going to be consequences. I find it funny how Habs fans are reacting to a non call on this kid when he generally gets the benefit of the doubt every other time. Good for Montoya.

      • that wasnt the first game,this terrible officiating happens almost every game.it seems like its accidentally on purpose.gallagher is one of the cleanest players.i like how trash talk gets these pussy players to react like women.its trash talk,its part of hockey.montoya should play for womens team usa,hes a goof.bogosian pushed gallagher in the net,and montoya took advantage of the refs being bias as usual.obviously this doesnt only happen to the habs,ive seen canucks games where every call was in there favor,and games where they would get called for nothing.

  3. Spector, you’re exactly right about Kessel. Until he starts crushing guys with open ice checks and fighting, he’ll never be truly appreciated in TO. Exactly like Sundin, who I loved. When he gets going he’s a lot of fun to watch.

  4. I kinda don’t want to … my Sens are struggling this year and it would be painful to hear the catcalls around here of losing a playoff round to the Leafs being I live just on the tip of the GTA. However it would get high ratings and bring in a ton of cash for the clubs and I am all for anything that brings Ottawa money right now 😉

    • I’ll be happy if the Sen’s just find a way to make the playoff’s this year! A tough stretch coming this week…

  5. Spector, totally agree with your assessment of Kessel situation in TO. Is there a more under appreciated(by his own fan base) star player in the league? However, I don’t think it has anything to do with his not being “a good Canadian boy”. Salming is one of the most beloved Leafs of all time and he played in an era when Europeans were frowned upon. Larry Murphy was Canadian, as is current TML captain Dion Phaneuf. Neither captured the hearts of Leafnation. Personally, I find Leaf fans have a sense of ownership with their own drafted, signed and developed players. Ask any Leaf fan who the franchise’s next savior is, and they will invariably fill you in on the team’s most recent first round draft pick, a mid-round draft selection that’s turning into a pleasant surprise, or a free agent signing that’s turning heads with the Marlies. Kessel and Sundin both arrived via trades, and as such will always be linked with, and compared to, what went the other way in the deal. Sundin was burdened for years with the spectre of Wendel Clark, while the package of Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Knight is what Kessel will always be measured against, rightly or wrongly! In neither case, did either player immediately turn around the Leafs’ fortunes, despite strong individual performances, thus adding to more scrutiny from the Leaf faithful. Remember the Gilmour deal? That brought almost immediate results and Gilmour was revered. The fans, and the media, in TO seem to want similar results any time a big name deal takes place involving the Leafs. In time, Sundin came to be adored and appreciated among the blue and white faithful, and I think Kessel will as well, particularly if his all-around game continues to develop.

    • Couldn’t agree more with you and Lyle on the Kessel assessment!
      Beside that I am and always will be a big fan of Mats Sundin. I saw him play on a trip to Canada back in march / april 2002 in a game against the Devils (the Leafs lost that game :-( because of Marty Brodheur!!!) Never understood how he was treated because he did not waive his no trade clause! One of the best leaf centers of all time!

      • Brodeur not Brodheur… sorry…